AFP - South Korea has imposed a ban on imports of French poultry and live birds after the European country reported a bird flu outbreak.
The move, announced by South Korea’s agriculture ministry on Thursday, came after the European Commission confirmed that birds at a French chicken farm were infected with the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu. The commission ordered all 32 birds at the farm to be culled and called for close monitoring of neighbouring poultry farms.
Seoul’s agriculture ministry suspended imports of all meat products, live birds and even eggs from France, but processed foods treated with heat were not affected.
The ministry did not say how long the ban was likely to be in place for, though similar measures in the past have lasted from between several months to more than a year.
South Korea imported one tonne of duck meat, 13 tonnes of foie gras, 844,000 chicks and 41,000 ducklings from France during the January-October period.
Bird flu outbreaks have been reported in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. South Korea was also hit by a string of outbreaks of the virus this year.